by A.C. Warneke
For eighteen years Duncan Tremain has been able to control his wolf, only letting the beast out to play when the moon is full. This unyielding discipline has given him the ability to conquer whatever hardship should come his way; until Lexi Darling appears in his life. With her joie de vivre and innate sensuality, he is enchanted from the start but the more time he spends in her company the more he can feel his control slipping and the chains that bind the wolf breaking. Determined to keep her safe, he desperately tries to keep his distance, which is a challenge since he is her new boss and Lexi is persistent.
A virgin in a temptress's body, Lexi wants Duncan the first moment she lays eyes on him. Just as Duncan is determined to keep his distance, Lexi is determined to break down his defenses and waltz with him in the moonlight. She pursues him relentlessly, accidentally using her newly discovered Siren gifts to lure him to his downfall.
A love that has other plans
Giving in to temptation has never been so wonderful even as both have their reasons to make sure the relationship doesn't get too deep. But the wolf knows what he wants and he wants the Siren.
Lexi made a face, “You know that will never happen. Skin is where I go if I want to escape my sisters' attempts to pry into my life but if I worked here...."
Feeling a change in the air, Lexi abruptly stopped talking and twisted around to see what could have caused it. She very nearly spontaneously combusted when she saw Him. It was an unfamiliar, and slightly terrifying, reaction for her to have towards anyone, especially a stranger. Usually she enjoyed admiring from afar with a cool detachment but that wasn't possible in this case.
One thought crowded out all of the others: this man was a warrior, sleek, strong, powerful and a little bit dangerous. And virile. Definitely virile. His mere presence was playing havoc with her hormones from across the room. There was no telling what he would do to her up close and personal and a delicious shiver went down her spine at the thought.
From where she stood, she appreciated the way he wore his clothes, wondering how he would look out of them. He was very well-dressed, very expensively dressed, in a dark, Italian suit and a white shirt, the whiteness emphasizing his golden skin. Her fingers curled into her palm at the thought of touching that carved jaw, those lush lips. And she saw that those lips were set in a firm line as he surveyed the room with piercing eyes, not missing a thing. He looked like he was checking the space out for danger except he was the most dangerous thing there.
The wool-clad warrior was a devastatingly handsome man, with a sculpted face: a strong jaw, high cheek bones and a straight nose, softened only by lips that were made for sin, lush and wicked. His raven black hair was short but long enough to drag her fingers through. It was also perfect without a single strand out of place and she had the strangest urge to walk up to him and just muss it up a bit. She could imagine him with tousled hair, looking down at her with that intense gaze as he moved over her…. Whoa, too far. She told herself to rein in the lustful thoughts and just admire.
“You’re drooling, Lexi,” Dima whispered in her ear.
“I am not,” she shot back, surreptitiously wiping at the corners of her mouth making Dima laugh. Leaning back, keeping her eyes on the new-comer, she asked, “Who do you think he is?”
“I don’t care who he is,” Dima breathed into her ear, his attention diverted as well. “Who’s the redhead he’s with?”
Lexi turned her head slightly and saw the pretty, little redhead hanging on the god’s arm, a sultry smile playing about her lips as she looked around the crowded bar. She said something and the dark warrior bent his head to hear her and a rush of desire crashed through Lexi’s body at the move. “Do you think they’re together?”
“God I hope not,” Dima murmured.
“Look at them, Dima. They are so very comfortable with one another,” Lexi said, holding out her arm in the man’s direction. “They’re probably together, their bodies move together as if they are intimately familiar. And they both reek of wealth and prestige, like they belong at the country club and not in a bar like this. She should be drinking a Manhattan and I think his preferred drink would be a martini….”
“Shaken, not stirred,” Dima finished in a quasi-British accent, causing them both to laugh.
“Stop that,” Lexi grinned, swatting at his arm and hitting air, her eyes never leaving the man. She tilted her head to the side in thoughtful contemplation for he was magnetic and she was mesmerized. Her lips curled upwards in an appreciative smile as he helped the redhead out of her coat, setting it on the back of her chair as he held it out for her. “Nice. Do you think he might like blond?”
“I like blond,” Dima countered absently. "Brunette, black... but I think tonight I prefer red."
After a moment of silence, he leaned across the bar and asked, “So, do we take a divide and conquer approach so I can have the redhead and you can have the man she’s with?”
“I don’t think so,” Lexi frowned. “He’s for looking and not touching.”
“But she’s for touching,” Dima purred, his breath moving across Lexi’s bare shoulder. “Snag his attention so I can make a move on the girl.”
“You’re a sick bastard,” Lexi teased, enjoying the view as the man remained standing, looking around the bar with a certain arrogance she found appealing. The man was very much a ‘look but don’t touch’ and Lexi needed to leave before she gave in to the impulse to touch, knowing she’d want so much more if she touched. She'd want it all. Tearing her gaze away from perfection-incarnate, she faced Dima with a frown, “I’ve really got to go.”
“Here,” he said, pulling out two fresh shot glasses and filling them with the foul-tasting tequila. “Do one more shot with me before you go.”
“Why? I’m already a little buzzed. One more and I’ll be worthless.”
“I need the courage so I can steal Red away from the big bad wolf.”
She took a deep breath and let it out, a low, painful groan emanating from the back of her throat as she narrowed her eyes and glared at the two glasses. “Fine.”
“That’s my girl,” he grinned, sprinkling salt on his hand once again and holding it to her mouth.
She held his gaze as she slid her tongue over his flesh, seeing the flash of dark humor in his eyes as she did so. She really hated tequila and if she was smart, she'd have refused the last shot. But she needed something to fortify her resolve to not touch. With a little whimper, she took the tequila and slammed it, quickly taking the lime from Dima’s mouth. With a shudder, she wiped the back of her hand against her mouth, “God, that’s disgusting.”
Dima laughed, “My turn.”
Grumbling under her breath, Lexi took the salt and sprinkled it on her hand and held it in front of Dima’s mouth. He simply smiled at her and shook his head, “Nyuh uh.”
“Dima,” she protested, though it was ignored as he leaned forward and licked the curve of her neck and poured the salt there. With another sigh, she put the lime in her mouth then tilted her head to the side as he nibbled her skin before drinking his tequila. This time when he captured the lime, he took his time, grabbing her shoulders and holding her in place as he moved his mouth over hers, as he prolonged the kiss, making Lexi twist her head away and chuckle. “Dima.”
“Pardon me,” a luscious, utterly masculine voice murmured from behind her.
Lexi flattened her hands against Dima’s chest and pushed, breaking the lime-kiss and stumbling backwards into a solid wall of muscle belonging to the man standing behind her. Heat enveloped her body and her flesh started to hum. Without seeing him, she knew that it was the warrior-stranger and the laughter quickly faded away, replaced by sexual awareness. Her eyes slid shut until she became aware of Dima soft chuckle and she came crashing back to reality. Narrowing her eyes, she glared at her friend, though her smile softened the look, “Dickhead.”
But then warm hands wrapped around her bare arms to steady her and the rest of the world simply vanished. She felt like a cat, needing to rub her body against his, wanting to have him stroke her. Relishing in the strength of the stranger, she breathed in his scent and let it fill her. It was clean and male with no artifice but there was also something wild about it, as if he spent his nights running naked through the woods. Heat burned through her as she pictured him in her head, standing beneath the bright moon in all of his naked glory, his piercing eyes holding her in place as she….
“Pardon me,” the masculine voice came again and the solid wall rumbled against her back. She realized that she was still pressed up against him, that his hands were still holding her and she didn’t want to move. She just wanted to stay there and continue experiencing the loveliest sensation she’d ever known.
Lexi returned from her brief sojourn to fantasy world and jumped, turning around as she did so. The gorgeous man was truly standing there, looking down at her with the most intense silver eyes she had ever seen. Her tongue lost its ability to move and she was unable to articulate a single thought as her knees decided to disappear and she fell against the bar. Even wearing three inch heels, she only reached his chin, making him 6’2, maybe 6’3. And he was solid steel and sinew, bone and muscle. All she could do was stare at the pagan god come to life and try to find her tongue, maybe remember how to speak.
He was even more striking up close and personal and, having been pressed up against him, she knew his body was honed to absolute perfection. And whatever he was doing, her body was definitely responding. The reactions that were strong when her back was towards him became nearly unbearable. His eyes seemed to burn right into her, sending chills along her skin and making her stomach flip over. Her nipples tightened into two hard buds and her belly began to buzz in anticipation. She wasn’t even going to consider the dampness between her thighs. No one ever elicited that type of response from her and never a stranger. Maybe it was the tequila. Yeah, that’s what she was going to tell herself anyway even if she knew it for the lie it was.
If she stayed there any longer, she wouldn’t be held accountable for her actions and that thought scared the hell out of her. Attraction was one thing but this all-consuming, all-compelling force was something else entirely. With her pulse racing, she knew she had to get out of there. Unfortunately, she had no desire to leave.
His silver eyes melted her bones as he spoke in a husky tenor, “I saw you standing over here and I was wondering if I could I buy you a drink?”
She needed to get out of there because touching him was everything she had hoped and dreaded. But then she found her voice coming out in a low and throaty rasp, “One drink.”
He smiled, revealing perfect white teeth and her stomach dropped to her feet. God, he was even more dangerous to her well-being when he smiled. Holding up two fingers, he ordered a couple of shots and Lexi almost groaned, already tipsy from her earlier shots. But then he looked at her with those silver eyes and his voice caressed her as he murmured, “If you don’t mind?”
She looked at him as he held out his hand towards her. Not knowing what else to do, she put her hand in his, catching her breath at the electric sensation that shot up her arm. His fingers wrapped around her wrist and he pulled her against his hard body. His eyes glittered as he held her gaze, bringing her wrist up to his mouth and running his tongue along the delicate skin and then sprinkling salt on the damp spot. Unaware of anything other than his beguiling eyes, she was startled when a wedge of lime was placed in her mouth.
“Thank you,” the gorgeous stranger murmured as he licked the salt from her skin and then slammed the glass of tequila. Lexi was transfixed by the way his throat worked as he swallowed, how the tendons moved and his Adam’s apple bobbed. She didn’t get to spend enough time studying the lines of his neck before he cursed beneath his breath and his mouth was on hers.
Pulling back slightly, he squeezed the bitter juice into her mouth and pulled it out before continuing with the kiss. His tongue stroked along hers and she lost herself in his lips, receiving the full impact of his kiss, feeling it in her belly and lower still. Her arms slid around his trim waist and she pressed herself harder against his solid body, luxuriating in the heat that wrapped itself around her. Her head was spinning and she wasn’t sure if it was from the tequila or the kiss. It was probably a bit of both. She wanted the kiss to go on forever, which was ridiculous since she didn’t know the man at all. But, oh! he could kiss!
Reluctantly pulling her lips from his, she took a wobbly step backwards and looked up at him, a siren’s smile curving her lips, “My turn.”
As much as she despised tequila, she was looking forward to doing the shot, if only to taste the scrumptious man once more. With one hand on his arm to steady herself, she glanced at Dima, ignoring the cynical humor blazing in his eyes as he poured tequila into a second shot glass. With a wince, she took a deep breath and turned back to the gorgeous stranger. “Ready?”
“Always,” he rumbled, his molten silver eyes caressing her face and making her burn even hotter.
Leaning against him and going up onto her toes, she slowly slid her tongue along the exposed skin of his neck, tasting his woodsy, masculine flavor and closing her eyes at the sheer pleasure of it. A stifled groan came from the back of his throat and his fingers wrapped around her elbows, as if he was as unsteady as she was. She pulled away just enough to squeeze the juice of lime into his mouth, running her finger over the ripe fullness of his bottom lip. His eyes flared even brighter as she grabbed the shot and, pausing but a moment, slammed it down her throat with a shudder. Her throat burned and her eyes watered but it was worth it. Even the hangover she’d have in the morning was going to be worth it.
Wrapping a hand around the back of his neck, she pulled him down as she rose up, their lips meeting somewhere in the middle. Citrus and man erased the vile taste of the alcohol and she took her time exploring the wet heat of his mouth, a hum of approval coming from her own throat. Suddenly, she wanted this man more than her next breath, more than she had ever wanted anything. She wanted to explore the defined ridges of his hard body, the heavy weight of his thick erection. She wanted to tear off his clothes and touch him everywhere.
She wanted to fuck him until the world ended and she was left standing among the ruins.
About the Author:
Like most writers, I spend most of my time telling myself stories and writing them down when they get too loud to remain in my head. The characters are very demanding, wanting to go out into the world to be discovered by millions of adoring readers, though they are most satisfied with having only a few readers that truly love them. From the gargoyles that sit on top of the roofs to the Siren who lures her wolf astray to the Aradians and Apocritae to those who battle evil, the characters won't be satisfied until their stories are told.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the love and support of my very loving and very tolerant family: my husband who encourages me to keep writing even when I act a little insane in regards to the worlds in my head, and my three kids who help out so much when I get lost in those same, darn worlds. They politely listen as I go on and on about my characters' motivations and back stories, their connections within the worlds created and how they fight to gain control of their destinies. But I am a cruel writer and make them earn their happy endings.
Since I am also a Romantic at heart, they are all happy endings.
My books are hot and oftentimes sweet, mostly steamy supernatural and romantic.
PNR: Darkness Comes, Stone Lover, Stone Romance, Stone Destiny, Awakening, and Siren Song
UF/PNR: Blight, After Blight
Contemporary: Blind Attraction
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